Ruins blended into a village
Published/Last edited or updated: 16th June, 2016
The most notable site found in the historical park’s less-travelled southern reaches, the ruins of Wat Chetuphon blend into a quiet village of the same name.
The prominent feature is a towering brick mondop with the headless remains of huge walking and standing Buddha images on either side. The mondop’s other two sides once enshrined seated and reclining Buddha images, but faint outlines on the bricks are all that can be seen of these today.
Surrounded by a moat, Wat Chetuphon is a fairly large complex that also has a wall supported by slate balustrades that imitate wood work. A second, smaller mondop displays faint designs that appear to have been inspired by the pottery of Yuan Dynasty China. A Bodhi tree also stands to the west of the ruins.
Directly across the street from Wat Chetuphon is Wat Chedi Si Hong, another large site with stucco reliefs showing human and animal figures adorning the base of a large chedi.
While these sites aren’t big draws, it’s worth heading down here to see 700-year-old ruins standing next to modest wooden houses. From here you could strike west on the road that begins next to the gas station, near Wat Chetuphon, and enjoy a scenic 11-kilometre ride to the remote Wat Tham Phra Mae Ya, set at the foot of the Khao Luang mountain range.
From the road that runs along the southern edge of the historical park’s central zone, take a road that cuts south past the ruins of the old city guard post and continue south. Wat Chetuphon will be on the right after 1.5 kilometres, a couple of hundred metres past a gas station.
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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